LORAN-C Phase-Out Starts Feb. 8

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The Coast Guard says LORAN-C isn't necessary for maritime navigation and the Department of Homeland Security says it's not needed as a backup for GPS, so by Feb. 8, you may not have it available to you, either. That has some pilots very concerned about the lack of a land-based redundancy for GPS. That doesn't seem to concern authorities who call it "an antiquated system no longer required by the armed forces, the transportation sector or the nation's security interests." The decision considers that LORAN-C is only used by "a small percentage of the population," and that those users "will have to shift to GPS or other systems." The bottom line is this: "LORAN-C is no longer prudent use of taxpayer funds and is not allowed under the 2010 DHS Appropriation Act," according to the Coast Guard.

Officially, "In accordance with the DHS Appropriations Act, the U.S. Coast Guard will terminate the transmission of all U.S. LORAN-C signals effective 2000Z 08 Feb 2010," writes the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard's Federal Register announcement clarifies that the Feb. 8 date is just the beginning of the shutdown and some signals may still be floating around after the date. According to the Federal Register notice, LORAN stations are expected to cease all LORAN-C transmissions by Oct. 1, 2010.